The Dolphins defense, particularly the starting unit, is expecting a major rebound from the first two preseason games. After those games, coach Joe Philbin made the point that the unit basically hasn't stopped anyone yet in the preseason.
Middle linebacker is supposed to be a major cog in that unit. He's its highest-paid player. He's in the middle of everything. He's barking the play-calls. He's supposed to make the most tackles.
But this preseason has become something of a calm before the storm for Dansby because after playing in the opener, he missed practices leading up to the Carolina game, sat out the game, and missed work again this week. And Dansby, still nursing a knee injury, is going to be out tonight.
Indeed, the Dolphins and Dansby are eyeing the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against Houston as his return to the lineup. He may practice before then but play tonight or the preseason-finale against Dallas? That's not the priority.
That means Gary Guyton and Austin Spitler and Jason Trusnik may all see time in the middle as the Dolphins continue looking for a suitable backup middle linebacker for Dansby.